When your organization first envisioned implementing Blackbaud CRM, you had hopes and dreams for how things would work once you were using the software. It’s a powerful system, and often the first year is about “normalization” and just getting used to the basics. Now, at year one, it’s a great time to re-ignite the vision, and ensure you and your Blackbaud CRM system have a great relationship. Below are five tips to get you started.
1. Ditch Old Business Processes
Did you design, configure, and implement Blackbaud CRM to manage business processes the same way your legacy system managed them? If so, there may be opportunities to gain efficiencies with your CRM configuration and your business processes. In just two to three hours per week, you can revisit the design documentation created during the implementation, and streamline business processes.
For example, if you've been through an upgrade or completed any post-go-live activities for Blackbaud CRM, chances are those documents aren’t valid anymore. It’s time to tweak! Ideally, these are living documents for your team to use for training, reference, and guidance.
Here are questions to ask:
- Are you using memberships in lieu of Recognition Programs? If so, you could be missing out on some automation capabilities in Blackbaud CRM.
- Are you managing Major and Planned Giving Management activities in Blackbaud CRM? Are you using the Pipeline reports available to you as standard functionality? Be sure you automate assigning prospect managers, plan managers, prospect plans, and opportunities to those constituents who meet your organization's criteria for a prospect. All it takes is a little planning and elbow grease!
- Do you have Prospect Research teams who have valuable and complex responsibilities? Use Blackbaud CRM Prospect Plans to create templated research task sets.
- What about Stewardship? Manually managing these activities is so passé! Be sure you’re using the tools available to automate some of those relationship management tactics.
- Were there any items left outstanding for after go-live? Do you have a Phase II? III? By revisiting those design decisions and configurations, you’re better prepared to prioritize what goes into subsequent Blackbaud CRM phases.
2. Tinker with Advanced Configurations
Did anyone on your team receive Advanced Configurations Training during the implementation? Don’t let it go to waste! Leverage what you’ve learned to improve your user interface. By using Advanced Configurations in Blackbaud CRM, you can give it a personality and make it work harder for you. For example, using the point-and-click, front-end user interface, you can create:
- New functional areas
- New constituent tabs
- New on-screen and actionable reporting
If you’re already using Advanced Configurations, good for you! Don’t forget, however, to review them every once in a while to make sure they're still useful. If they aren’t, tweak them to provide a better experience for your internal customers. For example, help your donor services team with a custom dashboard to save time on common tasks, such as:
- Spouses who have different last names
- Spouses who have different mailing addresses
- Constituents who have a credit card on file for recurring or sustaining gifts with an expiration date approaching
- Incomplete constituent addresses. Your Gift Officers likely want to see all gifts from their prospects regardless of whether they're tied to any high-touch fundraising activities. This is easy to surface in one place with any other important-to-a-Gift-Officer information already captured somewhere in Blackbaud CRM.
Using Advanced Configurations, you can create a simple work area containing functional data lists that users can access and easily update data.